The government's press office announced on Monday that several ministers will travel around the country over the remaining days until Europe Day on May 9 to answer questions of the public. The other EU member states will run similar events.
"The European Union serves its people. Shaping our common future in the EU, it's important to be aware of people's hopes, ideas, and worries," Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said according to a press release.
Similar public discussions are arranged by governments all around the European Union for the coming days. Each member state will summarize the outcome of the discussions, and the union's heads of state and government will then "consider them when prioritizing their future activities," the press release stated.
"This gives the Europe Day events a much deeper meaning than a simple brainstorming session or discussion would have. Joining the conversation, all people in Estonia can have a direct impact on the future of the EU," the prime minister added.
Ratas said that he is hoping Estonians will actively use this opportunity to speak their mind. "The EU is an integral part of our daily life," he said.
This year’s Europe Day events are running from May 1 to 16 across the country. Today Tuesday Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL) is participating in Türi.
On May 4 Prime Minister Jüri Ratas will answer people’s questions in Valga, on May 5 Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt (SDE) will be in Narva, minister of Culture Indrek Saar (SDE) will answer questions in Rakvere on May 6, Minister of Economic Affairs Kadri Simson will answer the public's questions in Pärnu on May 8, and Minister of Rural Affairs Tarmo Tamm (Center) will join events in Põlva on May 16.
May 9 is Europe Day. It dates back to May 9, 1950, when French foreign minister Robert Schuman proposed to create a common High Authority to organize French and German coal and steel production.
"Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany," Schuman's declaration read.
Positive reactions in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Luxembourg led to the signing of the Treaty of Paris, creating the European Coal and Steel Community, the precursor of the European Economic Community (EEC) and later the European Union. The date and current meaning of Europe Day were introduced by the European Communities in 1985.
Editor: Dario Cavegn